The post, 9 Reasons People Aren’t Singing in Worship, has generated hundreds of responses, some supportive and some not so much. Today, I want to dig deeper into reason 9.
Worship leaders are not connecting with the congregation. We often get caught up in our world of amazing music production and lose sight of our purpose of helping the congregation to voice their worship. Let them know you expect them to sing. Quote the Bible to promote their expressions of worship. Stay alert to how well the congregation is tracking with you and alter course as needed.
Some of the previous points already speak indirectly to this issue. Let me flesh out a few additional points:
In today’s world of in-ear monitors and bright stage lights, worship leaders often find themselves isolated from the people they are called to lead. We can’t hear them. We can’t see them. How can we gauge their connection in worship? How can we know if they are really participating or just a mass of spectators? As worship leaders, it is imperative that we are able to make aural and visual contact with those we seek to lead. This means either taking out an in-ear monitor or dialing in the congregational mics in the mix so we can track with them. It also means adjusting the lighting so that we can really see the congregation well. When stage lighting is much brighter than lighting in the congregation’s area, it also breeds the feeling of being at a concert and creates a spectator mentality among the congregation. As we really connect with the congregation, we can better make adjustments to the worship plan as the Spirit leads.
Are we choosing songs that connect with our congregation and our mission, or do we select songs totally based on our own preferences and desires, even if that does not fit our context? We must surrender our own desires if they do not coordinate with the context of the church we are called to serve. Otherwise, our connection with the congregation will diminish.
If we fail to love and share life with those in our church, we miss out on the biggest piece of connection with our congregation. We become fellow travelers in worship as we disciple and love those under our care. Conversely, if we merely spend our time producing the “worship event” void of discipleship and relationship, then our leadership can become cold and distant and our people see us more as performers than ministers, more as a distant personality than someone approachable and caring.
What additional ways do you see worship leaders can connect with the congregation?